Will GreatLand be as great as Comcast? Regulators are worried.

comcast mapSometimes we don’t know how good we had it ‘til it’s gone! Sounds like the chorus from an old country song but it might be what we’re singing in the Twin Cities when/if Comcast transfers to GreatLand Connections. According to Minnesota Public Radio

Right now, GreatLand Connections exists only on paper. But if you buy TV, Internet or phone service from Comcast in Minnesota, GreatLand could be your next cable provider.

If federal regulators back its $45 billion merger with Time Warner, Comcast says a new company, GreatLand, would be formed to take over the cable giant’s operations in Minnesota and 10 other states.

The thought is that this will offset the amount of paid TV owned by the new company. While in DC last summer, I heard Senator Franken refer to a potential shift in ownership of Comcast in Minnesota. He noted that his early and strong voice against the merger could be a contributing factor to them selecting Minnesota as a state to give up.

Unfortunately, folks are worried about the “new” Comcast…

The potential spinoff, however, makes some regional regulators nervous. Some worry GreatLand’s prices and service quality will be worse than what the estimated 550,000 Comcast subscribers in the metro area have now. …

GreatLand will rely on rival Charter Communications for help with several important functions, including customer service, engineering and billing.

Regulators are afraid that the consumer may end up spaying the moving costs for the new company…

Given the uncertainties, many regional regulators demanded promises from GreatLand. Minneapolis and other cities, for instance, say GreatLand has agreed to not make subscribers responsible for the billions of dollars in debt and other costs related to the company’s creation.

The Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators asked the FCC to prohibit GreatLand from passing on to consumers any of the costs of the transaction for at least five years. The state Commerce Department says GreatLand has committed to freezing phone rates for two years and to continue offering fast Internet connections to low income families at a discount.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in MN, Policy, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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